Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sent DOT your Comments about Zoo Interchange plans

Friends of the Monarch Trail and the Milwaukee County Grounds:

This is an update to my last post regarding a public hearing on the plans for Zoo Interchange reconstruction that could destroy valuable acreage along the Monarch Trail on the County Grounds. The public hearing has concluded but there is still time to send public comments to the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (DOT). Contact info below.

Dianne Dagalen, conservation chair of the local Sierra Club group, was interviewed on Lake Effect. I recommend listening to her compelling arguments, which you can do by clicking on this link.

The DOT does listen to the public! After viewing the new plans, it was clear to me that comments from the last public hearing, about a year ago, had affected the current plans - positively, I thought. They are still debating whether to widen the freeways to 8 lanes or keep the current 6 lanes (or, if not debating, at least both are still on the table.) Please urge them not to add lanes. (Experience elsewhere has demonstrated that larger freeways create larger traffic problems and do not relieve congestion in the long run.) 

DOT Stormwater proposals:
·               A three-acre toxic stormwater pond (instead of nectaring plants) to replace the South Berm of the Monarch Trail, with the surrounding wetlands filled in by excavation.
·               A five acre pond to replace the Oak Leaf Bike Trail at Underwood Creek Pkwy.
·               Four acres clear-cut for a pond on the historic Honey CreekParkway.

12 acres of county parkland may be lost to these ponds, which are designed to hold toxic runoff that salt and heavy metals from vehicle exhaust and brake wear. Furthermore, Milwaukee County taxpayers will be responsible for pond maintenance and liability.

There are alternatives: permeable pavement for highway shoulders, roadside swales
with catchment tunnels, underground cisterns, and bio-filtration fields.

Let DOT know that you don't want county parkland used for stormwater ponds.
> Come to the hearings and submit a DOT 
Comment Form.  > Mail a form from on-line:
Email your comments to: or
Fax them to: 262-548-5662. 
Deadline:  Comments must be postmarked by April 4, 2011.
All Wisconsin residents may comment on the Zoo Interchange.

If you have questions contact Dianne Dagelen, Sierra Club Conservation Chair:
The Monarch Trail in bloom
To see more images of the Monarch Trail and County Grounds, click here.

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